Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

Visiting the cold Carolinas


Saturday, March 17th to Friday, March 30th, 2018

It has been a challenging few weeks of cold. Is spring coming …ever? We continue to take our time moving up the coast in hopes that it will warm up. Temperatures have been 10 to 15 degrees F. below normal and very windy. When we started this trip we had planned to do sections of it out in the ocean, but the weather just hasn’t made that possible and we continue to putter our way slowly up the Inter-coastal Waterway (ICW).

After a fun visit in Charleston, we continue north. When we hit Georgetown, NC they are expecting thunderstorms and tornadoes, so we leave the boat for a couple of days, rent a car and drive up to visit our friends, Ellen and Doug at their place in Huntersville, NC (just outside Charlotte).

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Silver Maple (right) at sunrise on the morning we leave the dock at Charleston, SC

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Passing the beautiful Charleston homes as we leave

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Lee sees her first alligator! We pass this guy along the ICW in South Carolina.

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Love the pelicans!

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Randy enjoying some brief sunshine at the bar before the storms hit in Georgetown, NC

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Great visit with Ellen and Doug at their new home in Huntersville, NC

Once the weather clears, we are on our way again through some of the pretty parts of the ICW. It continues to be cold — in the 30s F. at night and the 40s and low 50s F. during the day with high winds. In St. James Plantation near Wilmington, NC we stop for a day of golf. Our great golf pro, Doug Hammer, at Troon North in Scottsdale arranged for us to play the beautiful Reserve course in St. James. It is a cold day, but well worth it. Thanks Doug!


Some of the prettiest parts of the ICW as we head to Myrtle Beach, SC

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Lee and Randy at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach for some dinner and music


Sunrise over Myrtle Beach, SC


Captain doing his stay warm dance

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This poor guy was walking along the beach looking lonely on a small strip of land between the ICW and ocean


Passing large dredging equipment on the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW) in South Carolina


Along the way we still see what looks like damage from hurricanes


Ready for a day of golf at St. James Plantation in North Carolina


Cold day for golf but lots of fun

After our golf break, we continue through North Carolina, passing through the Cape Fear River, visiting Wrightsville Beach, Swansboro, and Beaufort. We now have just 200 miles to Norfolk, VA where the ICW ends and we enter the Chesapeake. Yesterday the weather finally warmed up enough to remove some layers. Woohoo!


Lots of birds along the ICW

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Being passed by the ferry on the Cape Fear River


We are shadowed by this security boat as we pass a military base on the Cape Fear River


Silver Maple on the dock at Wrightsville, NC


Osprey by its nest on an ICW marker


Bundled for the cold, we look like we are dressed for skiing not sailing!

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Sure looks like a loon! We’ve seen a few on the ICW, but we don’t hear anything calling at night. Do they come this far south?

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As we pass Camp Lejeune in North Carolina we see lots of military aircraft

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Helicopters pass nearby at Camp Lejeune


No lights flashing so it is safe to carry on. Whew!

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We hear lots of loud ‘booms’ as we pass, so they are firing something…


Silver Maple on the dock at Swansboro, NC


Happy Captain

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Captain enjoying a margarita on the deck in Beaufort, NC


Marker 200! Two hundred miles to Norfolk, VA.


Its warming up so layers start to come off

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…and another one


ICW follows a beautiful creek as we approach the Pamlico Sound in NC


Sailing in Pamlico Sound

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It is nice to see lots of other sailboats as we pass Oriental, NC. It has been pretty quiet since we are ahead of most boats heading north.

Now in Oriental, NC at the lovely Grace Marina at River Dunes, we are once again waiting out bad weather. We had hoped to carry on tomorrow but now looks like it might be another day here. Not to worry. It is a very nice place and we are enjoying the break. Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Visiting the cold Carolinas

  1. Loons head south, saw one at Dry tortugas west of Key West. Brown in the winter. Quite different looking.

  2. It looks like you are enjoying an amazing adventure despite the cooler temperatures! You are travelling through a photographer’s paradise. Thank you for sharing your photographs, I’m learning so much about the areas you are travelling through. I’m looking forward to your next update!

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